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A Mixture of Ages Can Make for a Good Workforce

Older and younger employees working together create a well balanced workplace.

Millenniums have been maligned for their "work ethics" but in truth, they may not follow the traditional methods used by the previous generation (Baby Boomers), but they often get similar or better results. Each age group has a distinctive business style and attitude however the mixture of the two often results in superior outcomes.

For example, the BB usually has a very structured approach, a defined pathway to problem solving, whereas the millennial will often try multiple approaches to the same problem paying little attention to traditional protocol. The BB is proving his theory in a methodical manner, controlling his risk whereas the other is jumping ahead several steps and is risking failure over and over until he gets the right answer. The millennial is taking big steps learning from his failures and the BB is taking small steps avoiding failure. There is a need for both styles dependent on the problem and time frame. Another difference pertains to how each perceives their job responsibility. Many BB's have been indoctrinated into following their employee handbook to a tee and when it says office hours start at 9 a.m. they are in the office by 9 a.m., on the other hand millenniums have a more flexible interpretation and look at total hours not time of day. They contemplate what the assignment calls for to reach completion.

The most controversial job interpretations have to do with "attitude differences". The BB generation lives by the motto, "the customer is always right" but the millennial challenges that concept and believes in "calling it like it is", if the customer is wrong or at fault they should be told. The other big difference is the general attitude towards their career and job. The BB has been raised that you should never mix fun, work and home life, the millennial thinks that your work should be a part of your life in every aspect and be fun and enjoyable and will walk if its not.

The two generations complement each other and each can learn from the other creating balance in the workplace. As more older adults continue to work into their senior years or go back to work later in life business should benefit from this age mixture.

I can attest to that I have experienced the wealth of knowledge that an older co-worker can offer and it has at times prevented me from misinterpreting critical data.

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